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Thursday, August 6, 2020

The 2019 California Building Standards Code and the California Code of Regulation took effect on January 1, 2020.  On February 25, 2020, the County of San Mateo adopted local amendments to the State Building Code Title 24 (Energy Code, Part 6 and Green Building Code, Part 11) requiring all-electric buildings, solar installation for multifamily and commercial buildings, and increased levels of electric vehicle charging infrastructure for all building types. This ordinance only applies to newly constructed buildings from the ground up and does not apply to additions or remodels.  These requirements apply to construction in unincorporated County only. All building permits applications received after September 9, 2020 will need to demonstrate compliance with the requirements as summarized below.

Requirements for All-Electric New Construction

  • New low-rise residential buildings (three stories or less) to have electric fuel source for space heating, water heating, cooking, and clothes drying.
  • New non-residential and high-rise residential buildings to be all-electric with some exceptions. 

Exceptions for all-electric new construction may be granted for the following use cases:

  • Life science buildings may use natural gas for space heating.
  • Public agency owned and operated emergency operations centers (such as fire stations and police stations) may use natural gas.
  • Non-residential kitchens (such as for-profit restaurants and cafeterias) may appeal to the Building Official to use natural gas stoves.

For all exceptions that are granted, natural gas appliance locations must be electrically pre-wired for future electric appliance installation.

Requirements for On-site Solar

  • High Rise Multifamily and Commercial Buildings: The minimum solar photovoltaic system required is 2 watts per square foot of the building footprint. 

Requirements for Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargring Infrastructure

  • Single Family: Install one Level 2 Circuit and one Level 1 Circuit   
  • Multifamily: Install Level 2 Circuit at 10% of spaces and Level 1 Circuit at 40% of spaces 
  • Commercial buildings excluding office use: Install Level 2 EV Charging Stations at 6% of parking spaces, install Level 1 Circuits at 5% of parking spaces, and credit for installing DC Fast Chargers.
  • Office: Install Level 2 EV Charging Stations at 10% of parking spaces, install Level 1 Circuit at 10% of parking spaces, and 30% of spaces to be EV capable. 

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